* Posts by Synonymous Howard

347 posts • joined 7 Apr 2011


UK finds itself almost alone with centralized virus contact-tracing app that probably won't work well, asks for your location, may be illegal

Synonymous Howard

Re: And what about the people ...

And because nobody knows where they are all are.

Go fourth and multi-Pi: Raspberry Pi 4 lands today with quad 1.5GHz Arm Cortex-A72 CPU cores, up to 4GB RAM...

Synonymous Howard

Re: victims of own success

Armbian Linux is very usable on the Orange Pi 3 as mine can testify even though it is currently marked as a "work in progress". The OPi 3 makes a rather fast firewall with native GigE, USB 3 .. the PCIe port is not supported under Linux because the "Allwinner H6 has a quirky PCIe controller".

I use Armbian on the various Orange Pi models I have deployed .. PC2, +2E, Zero and One

Why did I buy a gadget I know I'll never use?

Synonymous Howard

I had sprouts today .. wifey boils them perfectly and they taste lovely. In fact today's lunchtime meal was Quorn 'steak' pie with boiled potatoes, petit pois, broccoli, sprouts and veggie gravy. Lovely stuff.

And I've just made myself hungry thinking about it.

You can't find tech staff – wah, wah, wah. Start with your ridiculous job spec

Synonymous Howard

"dress like an adult too"

At that point I stopped reading .. and it had been going quite well until then.

I was employed for my lateral thinking, problem solving and communication abilities not my sartorial elegance.

Having worked in both academia and 'business' I found that the best people to work with were scruffy and/or odd/crazy and the worst people were clean shaven, sharp suited, forked-tongued MBA types.

How much for that Belkin cable? Margin of 1,992%?

Synonymous Howard

Some "unscrupulous" tech suppliers

I think the terms "some" and "unscrupulous" are redundant here ... remember in the free market the price is dictated by both buyer and seller ... just buy from the 'best value' (product of cost, quality and service) and be prepared to walk when the seller tries to pull a fast one.

Behold iOS 11, an entirely new computer platform from Apple

Synonymous Howard

Re: Object Oriented Computing

Bit like NeXTSTEP on the NeXT Cube then in 1987 (30 years) .. oh wait, who created that and then sold it to Apple and was welcomed back as CEO in 1997?

Its a natural progression by Apple who have been using NeXTSTEP originated technology since then in OSX and iOS.

Scotiabank internet whizzkids screw up their HTTPS security certs

Synonymous Howard

Re: It can happen

I think this is a non story. The expired cert is not even for the given website ... I believe this is a 3rd party webhosting error. A default config on the frontend load balancer / SSL reverse proxy probably.

The website just appears to be a marketing site rather than a banking service site and as such should not HTTPS to be configured.

I'd love to say this is the bank's fault and is a result of outsourcing but I can't see any direct evidence of that.

Europe to splash €120m on free WiFi for ~8,000 villages and cities

Synonymous Howard

Re: How much kit is possible?

It might pay for a few hours of an installation guy and his ladder I guess.

Leaked: The UK's secret blueprint with telcos for mass spying on internet, phones – and backdoors

Synonymous Howard

Re: Encryption is not made "illegal"

TCP runs over the top of IP ... IP (typically in the U.K.) runs over the top of MPLS etc ... so where the line gets drawn will be up to judges.

'Trash-80' escapes the dustbin of history with new TRS-80 emulator

Synonymous Howard

Re: Dragon 32

Yes a clone of the later Tandy Color (sic) computer ... 6809 cpu IIRC.

You know IoT security is bad when libertarians call for strict regulation

Synonymous Howard

He's no Ron Swanson

But the resemblance is definitely there.

Northumbria Uni fined £400K after boffin's bad math gives students a near-killer caffeine high

Synonymous Howard

Re: Numbers

Measure twice, cut once.

My fortnight eating Blighty's own human fart-powder

Synonymous Howard

Re: Four kilos in a fortnight?

Lacking in calories rather than vitamins/minerals I guess.

How to lose weight; eat less calories.

Synonymous Howard

Re: Hipsters discover SlimFast...

If someone has a headache, drink water, wait a bit and see if it goes away (as they were probably just dehydrated).

Synonymous Howard

Watching the loss of Louie always makes me well up 8-)

Synonymous Howard

Re: Where's the IT angle?

Yes the Elizabethans loved their Spanish Paps.

Privacy is theft! Dave Eggers' big-screen takedown of Google and Facebook emerges

Synonymous Howard

Re: Black Mirror

Or even the BBC's 2008 "The Last Enemy" which had Cumberbatch trying to escape the Total Information Awareness database.

But the first one I fondly remember watching was the "IT Thriller" in the eighties, Bird of Prey, with the late great Richard "uncle monty" Griffiths ... http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/11/07/monitor_bird_of_prey_retrospective/

What’s the link between Brexit, cloud and open source?

Synonymous Howard

yawn .. survey was TL;DR

Mac malware lies in wait for YOU to start a vid sesh...

Synonymous Howard

Or by a user installing a free security / oversight tool 8-)

Lily Cole: You'd hate me more if Impossible.com were a success

Synonymous Howard

Re: how the hell are they losing THAT much money

Toss a coin .. AWS or Azure?

Synonymous Howard

Re: Not that bad...

I'd love UKgov (or anyone) to give me half a million because I would retire from paid work immediately and complete all those impossible things on my 'to do before I die' list.

Top digital Eurocrat issues non-denial about hyperlink non-tax

Synonymous Howard

Re: Democracy

Switzerland's Direct Democracy seems the closest to true democracy ... However any form of true democracy would surely implinged on everyone's rights due to the implicit suppression of minorities .. For are we all not in some form of minority at some point in life?

Funny story, this. UK.gov's 'open banking app revolution'. Security experts not a fan of it

Synonymous Howard

Re: I'm all for online banking...

You can make EASY MONEY by switching and taking advantage of savings offers (bank tarting).


First Direct pay £100 to switch (and they are very chatty in the customer service department and their mobile app on iOS can use TouchID).

Co-op pay £150 to switch (I've had an account with them for 20+ years)

Halifax pay £100 to switch

M&S pay '£100 M&S gift card' to switch (if you need a new suit, shirts, ties, ladies underwear)

If you don't want to switch then why not open a new account somewhere put a couple of direct debits on it and then after a month or so switch that account to one of the above and make some money .. rinse and repeat.

Also works for credit cards .. cash back on purchases and 0% interest for over a year (hint: put the money you would have used to pay off the credit card each month in to a regular savings account and earn up to 6% [firstdirect], 5% [nationwide])

TSB pay 5% on up to £100/month in transactions using contactless or apple pay .. money for old rope ... you even get 5% on up to £2000 when in balance .. just pay in £500 per month (standing order it around from another bank and then back again).

Remember money makes money but only if you make it work for you and not for the Banks.

Guilt by ASN: Compiler's bad memory bug could sting mobes, cell towers

Synonymous Howard

Re: That DER is not good

I CER what you did there.

Maplin Electronics demands cash with menaces

Synonymous Howard

Re: Cheeky bastards.

Try changing the headlight bulbs on a previous generation smart car .. unless you have very skinny and long arms you have to take the whole plastic front off.

Microsoft buys LinkedIn for the price of 36 Instagrams

Synonymous Howard

Re: The day I'll delete my account...

Better still .. don't delete it, instead change ALL your details to something weird to help poison their well.

And change your email address to a specially created yahoo or hotmail one of course. It won't stop linkedin spam to your original signup address but you can redirect that to /dev/null

Smartwatches: I hate to say ‘I told you so’. But I told you so.

Synonymous Howard

Re: Tiz the future!

You really want to look at the upcoming Pebble Time 2 which is on kickstarter at the moment (nearly $10m so far).

I have an original Pebble (B&W but a bit ugly/utilitarian) and a Pebble Time (colour, nice styling and a comfortable fit) and I've ordered a PT2 because of the bigger display and pulse-meter (as its nice to know if you are zombie)

I also have an Apple Watch 'look-a-like' which is, umm, just a red LED digital watch inside but definitely looks and feels like an AW .. fun for hipster baiting 8-)

One million patients have opted out of Care.data

Synonymous Howard

Re: NHS Digital

What? Your MP is a digital proctologist? At least we would know he has his finger on the problem.

Woz says wearables – even Apple Watch – aren't 'compelling'

Synonymous Howard

or even Trams

Synonymous Howard

Re: It'll all end in tears

Have you seen the latest Sodastream adverts? They are now being marketed as a way of making 'sparkling water' without the need to 'lug heavy bottles from the supermarket' .. hmm

Agree that specific kitchen gadgets are useless compared to a good set of knives and pans.

Symantec cloud portal goes titsup after database crash

Synonymous Howard


Their Managed PKI Service seems to have been alright though? .. however that is the tried and tested Verisign infrastructure.

This year's H-1B visa lottery jammed full in just six days

Synonymous Howard

I must be a category 41

4 as I have a CS PhD and 25+ years of techie experience but at times I feel like a 1 after being asked to 'fill in' when there are gaps in Sales, Helpdesk, Incident Management, Procurement etc.

I am, of course, of the age when Level 42 was the Chinese way.

Amazon ports Alexa voice assistant to Raspberry Pi

Synonymous Howard

Re: Amazon Echo

Just give it a feed from BBC Parliament

You say I mustn’t write down my password? Let me make a note of that

Synonymous Howard

Re: real dinosaurs remember acoustic couplers and 300 baud.

I still have the 300/75 acoustic coupler that I used with my Cambridge Z88 in the early nineties. I remember having to use it to connect back to some Unix systems I was managing whilst away and hanging around in BT phone boxes.

Five Eyes nations must purge terrorists from the web, says Theresa May

Synonymous Howard

Re: Five Eyes nations must purge terrorists from the web, says Theresa May

By 'swastika' I think you mean the Nazi 'Hakenkreuz' version and hopefully not the Mesopotamian / Indian versions?

'Hobbit' heads aren't human says bone boffin

Synonymous Howard

Re: Just to clarify...

So is 'island-dwarfing' due to lack of nutritional food on the island and 'island gigantism' due to a surfeit of good food and/or lack of predators?

Synonymous Howard

Re: so whats human?

I'd say anything under the Homo genus is 'human' ... we don't know enough about the social relationships between members of each sub-species to say which one could be viewed as a more 'modern human' than another and so why introduce additional factionalism when it is not necessary.

Modern humans could just be the lucky survivors of a particularly bad winter, that does not make them any 'better' than hobbits.

Synonymous Howard

Re: So ...

I recently wondered why they just didn't stick the hobbits on the backs of the eagles and flew straight to Mt Doom? Would have saved a lot of fannying about and (digital) 'celluloid'.

Synonymous Howard

Re: Not Hobbits!?!?!

Well, yes, that has a certain Ring to it.

Bluetooth direct to the internet: What could possibly go wrong?

Synonymous Howard

Re: Bluetooth to Internet...

It is not though is it .. it is bluetooth to a local 'hub' and then onwards to the internet. The 'hub' /should/ have the access and encryption controls for both the internal and external use.

The biggest issue with IoT (aside from 'why') is not the comms/protocols .. it is the secure updating/patching of code/firmware. An IoT device needs a secure boot, program code and comms stack with appropriate 'over the air' joining/synchronizing with local hubs and patching.

My view is to use the unix approach of small inter-connectable tools .. i.e. the 'hub' has all the 'smart' elements and the IoT devices are extremely 'dumb' and perform simple functions (turn on/off, measure temp etc) as directed by the hub.

Synonymous Howard

My heating system control uses Bluetooth

My 'diy' arduino based heating system controller currently uses bluetooth (non-LE) to connect to my raspberry pi 'hub' as a serial device 'coz it was simplest to setup at the time. If I was redoing it I would use an ESP8266 and therefore move to a dedicated wifi vlan with additional layers of encryption and strong authentication (WPA2 + SSL + client certs) but /only/ if I could /not/ use a wired connection using structured cabling.

Bluetooth v4 LE is clearly an option for battery powered IoT end-points and also has the 'advantage' of a typically limited range to help with physical security ... so it seems reasonable to have a mix of comms technologies available.

Bluetooth appears more secure, by default, than 433/868Mhz RF comms and so I would certainly prefer to use that given how much easier these days it is to integrate in devices.

Global crypto survey proves govt backdoors completely pointless

Synonymous Howard

I will let you, Mr Gov, to put a backdoor on my kit ...

when you let me personally audit its use and see a lambda proof of how it can be used with 'perfect security'.

Click Burr ... Hello? Mr Gov? Hello?

Lights out for Space Vehicle Number 23: UK smacked when US sat threw GPS out of whack

Synonymous Howard

'precision docking of oil tankers, as well as navigation'

A 13 microsecond slew stops the prevision docking of oil tankers??? I would hope they used something more accurate than /just/ GPS for docking procedures, e.g. ship borne proximity sensors ... or even harbour 'pilots' and lots of eyes!

All systems can fail .. if you rely solely on /one/ system for anything important then you will get burned at some point.

Microsoft buys SwiftKey, Britain's 'stealthiest software startup'

Synonymous Howard

I hate predictive keyboards!

As I prefer the extra typing, because, apart from toilet breaks, it is the only exercise I get 8-)

Home Office lost its workers' completed security vetting forms

Synonymous Howard

That would be the typical ... AUTHORIZED PERSONS ONLY

Oh, excuse me whilst I try to find my security badge and tailgate behind you .. I am authorized honest.

US rapper slams Earth is Round conspiracy in Twitter marathon

Synonymous Howard

Re: Space ???

Yes there is space, it can be found as a void between a significant number of people's ears.



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